It’s been a long time coming, but the writing has been on the wall since the advent of the first iPhone. In a recent press release, Adobe announced that it would “stop updating and distributing the Flash Player,” within the next 3 years. Adobe Flash is dead, and we couldn’t be happier. You might be wondering, “What does this mean for my website?”. Well, it could mean everything, or not much at all.
Why did Adobe kill flash? Security and obsolescence. Flash security has always been a huge concern, with major holes and exploits appearing on a monthly basis. Obviously, this is a very bad thing. Additionally, web standards have advanced to the point where native browser functionality allows developers to do much of what Flash did, using native browser standards like WebGL, and HTML5.
Many modern web browsers already block Flash by default. The chances are you have not even noticed that you are not running Flash at all. If you are a site owner, and your site is looking good and working well in a modern browser, the chances are very good that you wont have to do anything at all. Take a look at your site, does it ask you to “Click to run?”, if it does not you’re in the clear, unless you have some very dangerous security settings.
The verticals that will be most affected are likely to be browser games, interactive learning applications, and legacy enterprise applications. So what can you do if you are in the minority and you are the owner of a Flash-based site, or application? Well, you are going to have to start planning to replace your Flash application with an HTML5 equivalent sooner rather than later, and your development team should be working on their project plans now.
The good news is that change is good. Replacing legacy Flash applications, will make the web more secure. If you are a owner of a Flash based application or site, moving to HTML5 will allow your site to reach new customers on tablets and other mobile devices. Converting your site is a small price to pay for a safer, more stable internet.